Scrolling through Instagram or TikTok, there is a good chance of coming across a video preaching the benefits of various crystals, moonwater, or copper energy rings.
At first it intrigued me — the idea that buying a crystal that would revolutionize my life with no extra effort would sound great to anyone. But, is it too good to be true? And, what does it say about society that we so easily equate consumerism with something like spirituality?
I don’t believe all of the popular spiritual items are inherently a bad thing, especially if they inspire a person to work on themselves and connect with some higher power. The issue is when we put too much focus into buying newer and fancier tools, we might forget about the true purpose of spirituality.
While crystals and other trendy products might seem like a new-age, consumer based form of spirituality, the truth is that people have been using these products in religious practices since the middle ages, according to Stanford News. In fact, people have always had a desire to attach their supernatural beliefs to something physical — from the Christian crucifix to the Buddhist prayer beads.
The problem arises when the spiritual aspect is overshadowed by consumerism, social media, and the desire to have each and every new product. In a world where there is no shortage of new spiritual trends, we must understand that spirituality most likely does not come in a three dollar package from Shein.
It is important to investigate where your products are coming from as well. Some ‘crystals’ are made from synthetic materials and marketed as the real thing. Yet, even the real thing has harmful effects. From the copper in energy rings to crystals, these materials are most often obtained from mining — a process that has a significant environmental impact and is responsible for abundant human rights violations, according to Human Rights Watch.
While some spiritual gurus will claim that these products harness the power of the earth, the commercialization and extraction of these products might very likely be destroying the very thing it gets its power from. Not to mention the people and communities who are harmed by these industries.
While spirituality can take many positive forms, practicing these rituals can be very beneficial as long as you’re getting your information from the right place. So, if you’re looking to get into the world of spirituality, or are already deeply invested, make sure to do your research into who is selling these products and where they might be coming from.